Two businesses help families during government shutdown

Published: Jan. 10, 2019 at 9:13 PM CST
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As the shutdown drags on First Dakota National Bank is setting aside $5,000,000 for loans to federal employees who have not received their paychecks. Feeding South Dakota is also preparing an emergency plan to help those in need.

The bank is helping with up to three months of pay that may not have been distributed to federal workers. Feeding South Dakota is also working on a plan to make sure those workers receive food in case they're not able to provide for themselves.

The government shutdown reaches day 20 and federal workers aren't being paid.

First Dakota National Bank is helping those workers with a loan until they start receiving paychecks again.

"Well the stress people go through when they don't have a paycheck is not a good thing. It's tough on them, tough on families," First Dakota National Bank CEO, Larry Ness said.

The loan will have no interest and no fees. Ness says this isn't hard for the bank to do, but is there a catch?

"No catch, we're just nice guys doing what we do," Ness said.

He said this the least the bank can do for the community.

"Well I think we've all been in a situation in life where we needed help from somebody. There are people in our community, we live here, we work here. People that are going to be suffering or are suffering and if we can help them that's good for our community," Ness said.

Federal workers can stop into any location. Feeding South Dakota is also preparing to help and they know South Dakota won't be the only state impacted by this shutdown.

"We’re not the only food bank in the feeding America network that's going to be looking for more food to try and meet more of that need. We're going to be one of 200 food banks," Feeding South Dakota CEO, Matt Gassen said.

There’s going to be a point where they might have to reach out to donor partners to ask for help to help with hunger nationwide.

"I think this is the holding out for hope piece that this shutdown ends fairly quickly and it doesn't linger on for potentially months upon months," Gassen said.

Gassen said this shutdown could affect 150,000 to 200,000 people and he wants those struggling to know one thing.

"You know I want to tell them that we're here for you as we've always been for 40 years,” Gassen said.

Feeding South Dakota will serve those who already use the services and federal workers who are being affected by the shutdown.

First Dakota National Bank believes whoever takes out a loan they'll pay it back quickly and Feeding South Dakota said that there's no better place to be during a crisis like this than South Dakota, because South Dakotans look out for each other.

Since these two businesses don't know how long the government shutdown will last they're asking for patience while they try to provide what they can for those affected.